In September this year, Sarah Luckman and Courtney Coleman, two fourth year pharmacy students from the Queensland University of Technology (QUT) participated in the QUT HealthFusion Team Challenge. This was a friendly competition where health students from various disciplines were placed in teams and given a case study with the aim of working as a multidisciplinary team to present how they would handle that situation. The case study they are given is complex and challenges their knowledge and understanding as well as the group’s cohesion.
This scenario placed students in a packed Suncorp Stadium during a rugby game as the first responders to a significant bomb blast in the stands. Teams were faced with fatalities, head injuries, an amputation and other seriously injured. Additionally, teams were required to explain how they would react to assist in the immediate setting and what care would be required for survivors in the future.
The competition consisted of two days in which the teams were thrust into the challenging scenario and a plan to tackle the ongoing situation and then successful teams competed in finals on the following day. Teams had access to experienced health professionals from different disciplines who advised on how to best respond to the case study. Next, teams presented the initial plan in a four-minute speech at the end of day one. The judges deliberated and the six finalist teams were announced at the end of the day. Excitingly, Courtney was part of one of the successful teams selected.
The final was held on the afternoon of the second day. Teams presented their four-minute plans to a new panel of judges, solved and presented extension questions and participated in practical tests involving Webster packing, bandaging limbs and making a stretcher. Courtney’s team took the bronze and placed third!
Overall, the HealthFusion Team Challenge was a fantastic opportunity to learn what other health disciplines are capable of and educate others on the various roles of pharmacists – all while having fun and making new friends. Both Courtney and Sarah highly recommend any health students to participate next year!